Austin, where the rising cost of living is among the city's biggest challenges, is surprisingly "home sweet home" for renters, according to a new study. WalletHub recently revealed America's best and worst places to rent, ranking Austin at No. 33, one of the best in the country.
The personal finance website measured 182 U.S. cities based on 23 factors before boiling them down to these major metrics: rental market and affordability and quality of life. Austin ranks 71st in the former and 39th in the latter.
A closer look, though, shows Austin’s performance in the study is spottier than just saying it’s one of the best or worst places to rent.
WalletHub breaks down Austin's rental market and affordability by gauging the city’s rent-to-price ratio (No. 49), affordability (No. 71), rental vacancy rate (No. 86), cost of living (No. 87), average home size (No. 109), and other factors. The median gross rent in Austin, WalletHub says, is $1,165 a month.
The quality of life ranking takes into account the local job market, for which Austin ranks an impressive No. 17, quality of public schools (No. 33), and driver friendliness (No. 43), but also factors in safety (No. 65) and weather (No. 148).
Elsewhere in Texas, San Antonio (No. 92), Dallas (No. 106), and Houston (No. 135) land on the other end of the spectrum, but Fort Worth isn't too far from Austin, at No. 58.
El Paso is the highest ranking Texas city on the list at No. 9, not far behind Scottsdale, Arizona, the best place in the country to rent. New Haven (No. 181) and Bridgeport (No. 182), Connecticut, though, take the two worst spots on the list.